Former Iowa bank officer heads to prison for embezzling more than $1 million

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A former bank officer admitted to embezzling more than $1,000,000 by paying herself and her husband salaries they didn’t earn, prosecutors say.

The stealing happened from June of 2004 through October of 2013, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Wayland, Iowa woman, 50-year-old Heidi Wagler, admitted this in a plea agreement in early October of 2015.

As an employee of Country Bancorporation, which controlled seven banks, Wagler was in charge of doing payroll, the statement said.  She admitted to paying herself more than her earned salary from each of the seven banks – at least $864,835.

Wagler was also a member of the Board of Directors of one of the banks where her husband Russell Wagler was the Director and CEO. According to the statement, while she was being sentenced on February 16, 2016, Wagler admitted that from January 2008 through November of 2013, she also paid her husband more than his earned salary – more than $200,000.

Wagler was sentenced to serve more than three years and five months in federal prison, was fined $50,000, was ordered to pay $1,065,799 in restitution to Country Bancorporation, and was forced to pay a $100 special assessment fee.  When she is released from prison, she will be on supervised release for five years.

At the sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade said Wagler’s crime was a “pure crime of greed, or avarice.”

Wagler was released and was set to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a future date.


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